A difficult but important lesson to learn is losing gracefully. There will be times when we succeed in life, but also many times that we fail. Teaching our children to lose with dignity is a lesson that will last them a lifetime, as it is something they will need to draw on over and over. Here are some important thoughts on losing gracefully, that we as parents can help our children to learn.
Considering the Winner
Teach your child to consider others when they are in the middle of strong emotions. Although your child may want to lash out angrily and be alone when they have lost a competition or something else that was important to them, what will this make others feel like? If your child loses and begins to throw a fit and act unkindly to others, how will this change the atmosphere for everyone?
Remind your child that when they win, it is much more enjoyable when someone else’s anger isn’t stealing the spotlight. They need to give this consideration to the winner as well.
Considering the Others Who Did Not Win
When your child loses an opportunity, teach them to remember all the others who also did not win. Everyone might be feeling down in the dumps, but all it takes is one child with a healthy perspective to change the way everyone feels. If your child’s sports team has lost yet another game, your child could be the voice of encouragement that reminds the others to keep trying, and lets them know that there are other accomplishments they can focus on.
Learning What You Can
Whenever there is a failure, there is a lesson that can be learned. If your child is disappointed by a big loss, help them to put things in perspective with your encouragement.
Perhaps your child can learn the importance of extra studying if they didn’t put in quite enough study time. Maybe they are learning a tough lesson about the character of a friend who dragged them down with their lack of effort on the project. Perhaps your child usually wins, and simply needs to learn the lesson of humility. Whatever the situation might be, there is always something that can be learned, and valuable knowledge that can be gained.
Knowing Who You Truly Are
The most important aspect of losing is to remember who you truly are. This is a concept that even many adults haven’t grasped, but it is crucial to being able to both win and lose with dignity and grace. Build within your child a strong sense of self-esteem.
Teach them that their value does not come from what they can do, but who they are as a person. From the time they are born, remind them that they are a special creation, a unique person with a specific purpose on earth that no one else will fulfill in quite the same way as them. This builds in them a foundation that will help them recover from the disappointment of losses, both large and small.
It is fun to win, but it is important to know how to lose as well. Learning this lesson when young will give your child the opportunity to gain experience to do both the right way. Knowing how to lose gracefully will help your child become the well-rounded individual who will succeed whatever the outcome.